Q. I can't tell you how many great tips I've gleaned from your column. Now I'm needing a bit of your expertise on a problem I'm facing! My company's annual meeting is coming up and I'm stumped on ideas for an awards dinner outfit. I just found a short sequin skirt that is a blue mist color that I thought would be fun to wear, but I'm not sure what to pair with it. Is black too harsh with a pale blue? Also, this certainly isn't a very formal affair (they suggest cocktail attire) so I don't want to go too fancy but I thought I might be able to pull the sequins off with something more understated on the top. I'm a size 20 and have a large breast size and want to make sure that it is flattering to me. Help! You're so great with everyone else I'm praying you can help me too!
-Lost in Boston
A. This kind of event is infinitely more important than a cocktail party with friends. You’ll be making an impression on many important people company wide and showing off a more glamorous version of yourself. This is a chance to be fun and friendly and still be professional. Any fashion faux pas will be remembered. As for a short sequin skirt, I worry about the length. This is not an event appropriate for anything closely resembling a mini. And sequins can be bright, so if you stick with the skirt, the top must be subtle.
My first choice would be a white top (similar to the look shown at left), but black would be fine if your wear black sandals. It’s hard for me to really say yes to the black combination without seeing the skirt. If you opt for another outfit, then go for a dress—it’s a no-fuss solution that just requires the addition of accessories and the right bra underneath. I chose a few tops and some affordable dress options as well. Good luck at the annual meeting.
left: Lafayette 148, Salon Z Stretch Cotton Shirt, $248 at saks.com
Salon Z Sophie Jersey Top
$288 at saks.com